Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, is a serious and sometimes deadly sickness. It attacks the immune system causing body aches, fever, and a sore throat. It’s also very easily spread from person to person! If you’re looking to protect yourself and your family this flu season, prevention is going to be the key.
Learn how to protect yourself and your family this flu season by taking preventive actions and making healthy choices. And get your flu shot!
Coming down with the flu is a miserable time regardless of how serious of a case it is. To protect your health, you’ll need to understand the symptoms to be on the lookout for, practice healthy lifestyle choices and, most importantly, get your flu shot.
Usual symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, congestion, runny nose, headaches, coughing or sneezing, and fatigue. Other cases of the flu claim symptoms such as chest pressure, nausea, shortness of breath, sore throat, or swollen lymph nodes. If you notice someone with these visible symptoms or you live with someone who has the flu, stay away! Keep your distance from anything they might have touched, coughed or sneezed near.
You’ve probably heard it said a million times by now–but doctors cannot stress enough how important it is to get your flu shot. By getting your flu vaccine, you aren’t only protecting yourself from the flu but protecting those around you as well. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the vaccine causes antibodies that develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies protect you against the sickness with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.
Pro Tip: Prevention is the best medicine! Remember to get vaccinated this flu season.
It may seem redundant, but it’s so important to be aware of your cleanliness during the flu season. Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after touching any surfaces that may have been contaminated, and wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant after using them. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid being around potentially sick people, as mentioned earlier. An alcohol-based hand rub is good to have with you at all times, but washing your hands works just as fine if not better.
If you have caught the flu by the time of seeing a medical professional, they may prescribe flu antiviral drugs for you to take after medical testing. These help to diminish the symptoms of influenza a day or two earlier. Otherwise, let them know that you’re wanting to avoid this sickness (as most people should!) and have them help you develop a strategy for preventing the flu this season. There may be specific measures your provider recommends for your preventive health strategy.
Keep your household happy and healthy this flu season by making sure everyone gets their shots. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment with your provider for your next preventive health check-up.
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